Re: [CR] LeJeune, was: Re: Gitane vs Peugeot...

Example: Framebuilding:Tubing
Date: Sun, 31 Jul 2005 12:23:07 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Jerome & Elizabeth Moos" <>
Subject: Re: [CR] LeJeune, was: Re: Gitane vs Peugeot...
In-Reply-To: <>

As an owner of probably an insane number of French bikes. I'd rate the "big five" - Peugeot, Gitane, LeJeune, Mercier and Motobecane roughly equal on quality and sweetness of ride. All of these had teams in the TdF "in the day".

I always think of Jeunet and LaFrance, etc. as a step below, but I think this is more because of their being largely absent from the peleton - no great riders to visualize on them - than because of any actual lower quality.

I always think of Follis as a step above the "big five" and Bertin perhaps a step above that in terms of finish. Of course there were dozens of other marques, including Herse, Singer and the other constructeurs, but the above are most of the marques with a large market share, at least since WW II.

I think Peugeot has a special place because, like Bianchi in Italy, it has the longest history in both the marketplace and in competition. Also, Peugeot is the "most French" because, while all the other marques were by the mid 70's producing models which were partly or entirely Campy-equiped, Peugeot, until well into the 80's, continued to use almost all French components, even on their team bikes in the TdF.

BTW, does anyone know when the Peugeot black-on-white checkerboard design was devised? I know from the CR site and PX-10 site that in the early 60's and the 50's, top Peugeot models were seen with much different designs, including blue and yellow. So was the checkerboard design only devised in the 60's, or was it something from before WW II that Peugeot revived in the 60's?


Jerry Moos Houston, TX wrote: Date: Sat, 30 Jul 2005 21:33:56 -0700 (PDT) From: Fred Rafael Rednor To: Subject: Re: Gitane vs Peugeot, was Re: [CR]question about peugeots, px-10's
> When are we going to hear from the Mercier
> and Lejeune camps? Peter, What do you want to hear about LeJeune? That the correct spelling is LeJeune? That the LeJeune frames were made "somewhere in France" and shipped to the "factory" in Maisons-Alfort for paint and assembly? That sometimes the details were a bit rough, although the overall appearance was very appealling? That despite the rough paint, the ride/geometry was always spot on? That after reading "A Year In The Merde" (please see my other email) I finally understand my visit to LeJeune in 1983? Please forgive me, Peter, I couldn't control myself. I love those LeJeunes - and I own two of them - but I have no illusions about them. I'll tell you this, though. I still race a circa 1976 LeJeune track bike and rode 10 laps (30 miles) on it the other day at Hains Point in D.C. It actually is quite a comfortable bicycle. Cheers, Fred Rednor - Arlington Virginia (USA)

I also think LeJeunes are special bikes. I've owned two, and despite the sometimes iffy paint and decals (like so many bikes had back then anyways), they are just "right" in many ways, and the workmanship is pretty good, IMO. My current one is a circa 1972 CdM (red, of course...) with the trademark seat cluster and stay treatments, plus that funky little brazed-on loop for the rear derailleur cable housing on the seatstay - gotta love that!

Greg "a tout a l'heure" Parker Ann Arbor, Michigan (where it is still no longer 95 degrees F - yes!)